Frequently pictured with Gaddafi, in heavy make-up and military fatigues, the dictator's female bodyguards became synonymous with his political reign.

All for women's rights? Gaddafi hired an all-women team because he
wanted to empower them. However, he insisted that they wore high heels,
jewellery, make-up and nail polish

The women, dubbed Amazonian guards, were an army of virgins, believed to have taken a vow of chastity and pledged their lives to protect their leader. The group was formed in the early 1980s. The women accompanied Gaddafi wherever he went.

It is thought Gaddafi chose to employ a cadre of all-female bodyguards because he feared men would be easily distracted.

Gaddafi insisted that the women, all trained killers, wore high heels, jewellery, make-up and nail polish. Gaddafi had once said,  "Women should be trained for combat, so they don't become easy prey for their enemies."